DJ Premier Reveals He’s The Person Who Sequenced Nas’ Illmatic Album (Audio)
DJ Premier has an extensive background in Hip-Hop music and production. This week the legendary Gang Starr member (deemed “The Greatest Hip-Hop Producer Of All-Time” by Ambrosia For Heads readers) native casually dropped another line to add to his already lengthy resume. On the latest episode of crooner Anderson .Paak’s .Paak House Radio show on Apple Music, Preemo revealed some hidden history about Nas’ seminal debut album, Illmatic—deemed “The Greatest Rap Album Of Time” by those same AFH readers.
“I’m all about sequencing,” DJ Premier said. “I’ve sequenced every Gang Starr [album], every Jeru [The Damaja album]… I sequenced Illmatic for Nas,” Preemo told his Compton collaborator, Anderson. “[Nas] wanted to use the same mastering that I was using, so he was like, ‘Yo, sequence it for me.’ So, I sequenced Illmatic.”
Illmatic’s sequencing was never confirmed to be completed by a sole producer, or Nas himself. As Donna-Claire Chesman of DJ Booth points out, a 2014 FACT article on Illmatic states that Sony Records sequenced the 1994 LP, while MTV News reported Nas had left the task up to the staff at Columbia Records. The fact that DJ Premier had even more of a hand in shaping Illmatic than originally thought is nothing less of fascinating and adds to the allure of the legendary Hip-Hop LP.
Preemo produced three of Illmatic‘s 10 songs. He was joined by equally influential Hip-Hop producer Pete Rock during the latest .Paak House Radio. Pete also produced a song on Illmatic. The trio kicks it for Apple Music, and Anderson .Paak also details his upcoming record for Aftermath, OXNARD (November 16), named after his California home city. Dr. Dre also makes calls into the show to speak on OXNARD’s creation, as well as engineering for the album.
“I usually try to go out and listen to mixes on a stock system in a car,” Dr. Dre reveals about his mixing technique. “‘Cause I feel like I’m making music for people in their cars. That’s where you spend most of your time listening to music. How often are you out in the club? Once or twice a week? But you’re in your car every day. So that’s where I’m trying to make my music for.”
Anderson .Paak also prank-calls Wale on the episode, despite the fact that three legendary producers are attached to his radio show.
In 2018, Preemo has produced for Drake, Kool G Rap & 38 Spesh, as well as the entire PRhyme 2 LP, among others. He and Pete Rock are reportedly producing an upcoming De La Soul project. In April of this year, P.R. confirmed to AFH that the process is still ongoing.